If you’re a dedicated runner who has never hit the track in performance socks made especially for you, you haven’t lived. Seriously. Thoughtfully constructed running socks can transform a good workout into a phenomenal workout. The best socks for runners enhance performance, prevent injury, and feel like a dream to wear. Oh, and they look great, too. When it comes to your workout gear, don’t settle for anything less than awesome. Here, we discuss the top factors to consider when scouting around for your next favorite pair of running socks.
What to look for in the Best Socks for Runners #1: Materials
Ever covered long distances in a pair of 100% cotton socks only to end up with hot, swampy feet? Then you know what we’re talking about when we say: materials matter. A lot. A fabric like cotton absorbs moisture and traps it close to your skin. So, if you splash through a puddle, your socks will stay soaked. When your feet start to sweat, they’ll be wet throughout your entire run. Stinky, wet, sweaty feet? No thanks. The best material has these perks:
If your feet are clammy post-workout, then your socks are the likely culprit. The best socks for runners are made of breathable materials, just like technical workout gear.
Moisture should move away from your body, so look for fast-drying, moisture-wicking materials like nylon or polyester. While some runners will tell you that only synthetic fabrics will do for performance socks, that’s not necessarily true. Merino wool, for example, is a soft and natural fiber that has remarkable moisture-wicking and antibacterial properties when it’s designed with runners in mind.
If your socks are getting holes after a few washes, it’s time to upgrade. Well-designed materials are durable and made to last through many long runs and washes. If your feet sweat a lot, your socks are prone to holes, too, which is just another reason to invest in moisture-wicking fabrics.
What to Look for in the Best Socks for Runners #2: Comfort
Above all, the best running socks are comfortable. When you slip them on, you forget they exist because you’re totally in the zone. Look for these comfort-boosting perks:
- Thermally balanced
- Cooling tech
- Seamless construction
What to Look for in the Best Socks for Runners #3: Fit
The right sock fit is vital for serious runners. You wouldn’t run in shoes that were a size too big or too small, would you? If your socks are bunching, sliding, or squeezing, it’s not just uncomfortable but also risks blisters and injury. To be confident that your socks will fit exactly like they should, look for the following:
- Anatomical left-right foot construction. Your socks should contour to the shape of your feet, with special construction for both the left and the right foot.
- Achilles protection. Make sure that the socks you pick will keep the back of your foot blister-free.
- Arch support. Quick knowledge drop: the ligament that helps support your arch is put under stress when you run on the reg. That means that if you’re part of the 80% of the population with a neutral or low arch (i.e. flat feet), you’re more likely to end up with problems like fasciitis or tendonitis. Solution: running socks that support your arches, reducing ligament stress.
- Cushion. Running is a high-impact exercise, meaning your heels and the balls of your feet can really take a beating! While some runners prefer a lighter feel (which is totally okay!), extra cushioning can help absorb some of that impact and prevent blistering.
What to Look for in the Best Socks for Runners #4: Style
Many performance socks are drab, beige affairs that poke out from under your shoes. Not a good look. While aesthetics aren’t the most important thing in the world when it comes to performance gear, staying on-trend does matter. That’s because the best socks are simply those you’re going to reach for the most, even when you’re headed to a post-workout brunch. Performance AND style? Yes, that’s a thing. Top sock brands should offer different heights, too. No show socks that work well with low-cut running shoes, or socks with funky look-at-me patterns, mean that the best socks for runners CAN have it all.
Run Like You Mean It
Whether running is your passion or just something you do on the weekends, the right socks will make a difference in your run and post-workout recovery. We created FitSok with the unique needs of runners in mind. We know what it’s like because we’re runners ourselves. So, wherever your run takes you, we think your socks should keep up.